Friday, October 7, 2011

Legion Lost #1

DC Comics, 20 pages, $ 2.99

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist: Pete Woods
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Travis Lanham

Technobabble, time bubbles and colorful superheroes stranded in the distant past—which just so happens to be our present—while in pursuit of a fugitive time-traveler who’s evidently trying to take revenge for something that’s about to happen, but hasn’t yet: Legion Lost is, in many ways, the Star Trek-type superhero title in DC’s “New 52” line-up.

As such, that’s a perfectly valid approach to doing superheroes, if you want 52 different flavors, particularly for a Legion of Super-Heroes spin-off. And writer Fabian Nicieza and artist Pete Woods do a solid job of making this an accessible debut issue—even if Brad Anderson’s colors are a bit on the garish side, especially towards the end of the book.

Then again, an accessible comic isn’t automatically a compelling one, and exposition is no substitute for effective characterization. The characters here look like a diverse bunch, certainly, but the creators fail to make to make them distinctive in the ways that count. When a couple of them die at the end, there’s no way to gauge what that means for the group, because the reader never gets the chance know them or their relationships with each other.

Legion Lost sounds interesting in theory, but in this first issue, the story never rises above being competent and serviceable. The creators are doing a very familiar formula here that can carry this sort of book, but they never really fill it with life. This could turn into a fun series, but it needs to ramp up the characterization dramatically to do that.

Grade: C

1 comment:

Richard Bensam said...

After reading Colin Smith's takedown of Legion Lost #1 I'm not at all sure "competent and serviceable" are the right words to describe that comic. But to be honest, I didn't have the heart to read it myself. The LSH of old figures prominently in my personal mythology -- I was reading it back in 1967, and that series was my first "favorite comic" -- and what's become of it is too painful to watch. It seems like the writers an editors keep at it out of some belief that DC always needs to have a Legion comic or two going at any given moment, no matter how joyless, how devoid of meaning or conviction or fun.